The UN has called for more involvement of women in humanitarian activities in Somalia, highlighting the contribution made by women humanitarians to peacebuilding efforts in the horn of Africa nation.
Werner Schultink, representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a joint statement issued on Monday evening after celebrations to mark the World Humanitarian Day in Mogadishu that there was proof that humanitarian responses were more effective when women are active players in the decision-making processes.
“Evidence shows that when women are involved in humanitarian action, including at the decision-making level, the humanitarian response is more effective,” said Schultink who spoke on behalf of the UN system in Somalia.
The theme of this year’s World Humanitarian Day 2019 is centered on honoring the work of women in crises throughout the world, recognizing that they make up a large number of those who risk their own lives to save others and are often the first to respond in crises and the last to leave.
Hamza Said Hamza, Somalia’s minister of humanitarian coordination and disaster management said women face tremendous challenges on the ground, and urged for the need to use a real platform to address these challenges for the women carrying out humanitarian activities.
“As the government of Somalia, we salute the women working in the humanitarian sector and despite the challenges they are facing, their courage and patriotism in serving this country is an effort worth emulating,” Hamza said.
During the celebration, a veteran activist and humanitarian worker, Aisha Shaur Ugas, was nominated as Somalia’s humanitarian person of the year for her role in championing the rights of women and children and advocating for gender equality.
Her colleague, Amina Haji Elmi, the founder of Save Somali Women and Children , was also cited for her role in aiding victims of gender-based violence.
Nasra Ali Ismail, director of the Somalia Non-governmental Organization Consortium described Elmi and Ugas as patriots for opting to work in Somalia during its civil war while some of their colleagues sought refuge in foreign countries.
“A day like today, is a bright one even amongst the people we have unfortunately lost this year. However, we are still grateful and we are going to keep the charge going and our light will not deem until we can work (with everyone in need) so that they are able to live their lives fully,” Elmi said. (Xinhua)